Adult Behavior

One of my favorite bloggers recently posted the following list. It was written by John Perry Barlow, American poet, essayist, cattle rancher and lyricist for the Grateful Dead. Mr. Barlow recently died at the age of 70.

The list is titled the “25 Principles of Adult Behavior,” and I felt it was well worth sharing. Many of the “principles” are common sense, but too often we simply don’t put them into action … especially in the blogging world.

  1. Be patient. No matter what.
  2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him in the same language and tone of voice.
  3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
  4. Expand your sense of the possible.
  5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
  6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
  7. Tolerate ambiguity.
  8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
  9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
  10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
  11. Give up blood sports.
  12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
  13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
  14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
  15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
  16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
  17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
  18. Admit your errors freely and soon.
  19. Become less suspicious of joy.
  20. Understand humility.
  21. Remember that love forgives everything.
  22. Foster dignity.
  23. Live memorably.
  24. Love yourself.
  25. Endure.
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32 thoughts on “Adult Behavior

  1. …but too often we simply don’t put them into action … especially in the blogging world.

    I sometimes/often liken adult tantrums or verbal abuse to road rage or vehicular animosity. Because we are physically “detached” from someone/others on the internet or inside our locked vehicles, we assume we can get away with inappropriate, childish, even horrendous behavior. But of course, this is never really the case.

    Liked by 8 people

      • LOL… right. 😉

        In all seriousness though Nan, if there is no reason to treat total strangers with common human decency — i.e. their behavior, as far as you know, past or present doesn’t warrant some type of justice — then there is no need for any surveillance… or a “God.” Community culture sets the morals and ethics to abide by. Why does it need to be overly complicated or “divinely” mysterious?

        That’s a rhetorical question by the way.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Yet theists do the majority of their “sinning” when only God’s around to see them. It’s like they don’t really believe in an omnipresent surveillance officer after all.

        Like

  2. Great principles to live by whether one believes in God or not. But, as Mary notes, they are not always easy to attain. He left his greatest – numbers 20 to 25 – for last.

    #15 – Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that – stood out for me since “pursuit of happiness” defines what I perceive to be American individualism.

    May we all endure these days of societal unraveling.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I like that. But I disagree with (15). Perhaps that’s because I see “the pursuit of happiness” as very different from “the pursuit of pleasure”. It seems to me that just about everything on Barlow’s list is about the pursuit of happiness (as distinct from the pursuit of pleasure).

    Liked by 5 people

  4. (Off-topic, just one minute): The same way an unintended second ‘like’ of a post is ignored, one should not be able to ‘like’ ones own comments. Apparently due to a small software error, I was able to agree with a reaction of mine! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think it’s a WordPress feature. It seems to allow me to like my own posts. But I’ve never tested it. So thank you for testing.

      And “like” does not necessarily mean agree. Someone might like that you posted a thoughtful reply, even though they don’t agree with it.

      Liked by 3 people

      • —“like” does not necessarily mean agree. Someone might like that you posted a thoughtful reply, even though they don’t agree with it—

        Well said! I extended that thought to people, and I now realize that I know, for example, one case where I personally rather dislike someone although I appreciate his integrity. I would call him an honest politically involved person.
        .-

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t see anything about “loving yourself” in the two points I mentioned … ??

          #9 — Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right. (IOW, don’t worry about what other people say, do what you feel is right; e.g., be a vegetarian).

          #-10 — Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong. (No further interpretation needed.)

          BTW, not EVERY pig suffers cruelty and severe abuse before they become bacon. Many pigs and other “food” animals are raised on family farms where they are similar to pets … yet recognized as one day adorning the kitchen table.

          Like

          • Sorry, Nan. I’m going doolally. I read #24.
            My bad. Creeping Senility!

            So, yes. 9 could be used as a substitute.
            But how many people would even consider it in this light, I wonder?

            Are you suggesting that, by considering #10, the position of not eating other animals might in fact be wrong?

            I am aware there are free range pig farms. Woolworths South Africa butcher free range pigs for their pork.
            However, I said the average pig, and the average pig lives its life in horrendous conditions.

            I won’t provide any links.

            Like

            • But how many people would even consider it in this light, I wonder? YOUR light is the only one that matters in this instance.

              #10 can be interpreted any way you want. You must admit that some (many?) people do not consider eating animals as wrong. The point is … who’s to say? You are the only judge of your life. (And just in case you were wondering, Jesus doesn’t have anything to say about it. 😉 )

              Like

            • The impression I got from reading is that the list is designed to give us a sort of wake up call for our faults and foibles and a guide to improve our general sense of well-being and improve relations with others.
              If other people do not consider eating other animals wrong then already we are immediately at an impasse.

              The point is … who’s to say?

              Well, as animals can’t speak for themselves those with voices ought to, don’t you think?

              People make pets of pigs, as you pointed out. They also eat pigs.
              Yet while you might keep a dog as a pet you probably wouldn’t go down to the butcher and purchase a leg of Collie, or a side of Labrador.
              But the Chinese do.

              Like

            • But the Chinese do. Difference in culture. And you know that.

              Lissen’ Ark — I appreciate and respect your position on this … and I’m sure many others do as well. But sometimes (and please don’t take offense) you remind me of some Christians when the subject comes up. I don’t think I need to elaborate.

              Blessings be upon you on this fine Sun-day. 🙂

              Like

            • I doubt the animal care one iota about difference in culture and if they could voice such an opinion they probably would.
              Out of interest should we excuse the slaughter of Silverback Gorillas, dolphins, and rhinos on the grounds of culture?

              Actually, (and please do not take offense) whenever I raise the issue of eating other animals those that do eat them tend to respond in a similar hand-waving, some what dismissive manner that is highly reminiscent of some Christians.
              I don’t think I need to elaborate.

              Well, I did some productive gardening, Liverpool won 2-0 and I am busy watching the rather excellent Movie, Gravity, so yes, it is a fine Sun-day.
              🙂

              Liked by 1 person

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